Sportsguards are a device worn over your teeth to prevent them from damage. If you are involved in any sport that may result in injury to your mouth, get in touch with our specialists at Thomas Family Dentistry. We can carry out an assessment and advise you about whether a sports guard is recommended for your particular circumstances.
Any accident that fractures or knocks out your teeth, causes bleeding or cuts in the mouth may require immediate medical attention. While an accident can happen to any of us, sportsmen and women are more susceptible to causing damage to their teeth. They are frequently involved in activities where falls and body contact, as well as equipment, may cause trauma to the mouth. Thus, you may benefit from wearing a mouthguard if you are a footballer, hockey player, skateboarder, gymnast, cyclist, or any other participant in contact sports.
Mouth protectors are typically worn over the upper teeth, but your dentist may recommend a mouthguard for the lower jaw as well if you have dental appliances, such as braces or bridges on the bottom teeth.
What Is the Process for Getting a Mouthguard?
Mouthguards from your dentist are tailor-made to fit the exact shape of your teeth and jaw. This is crucial to ensure it stays in place, is comfortable, provides maximum protection, and is long-lasting.
Our dentist will take impressions of your teeth, jaw, and gums to make a plaster cast model that is sent to the dental laboratory where your mouthguard is manufactured. The technicians at the lab shape the mouthguard material around the cast, making adjustments to ensure a comfortable fit and bite, before sending the finished appliance back to us.
How Long Will a Custom Mouthguard Last?
Custom-made sports guards are more expensive than shop-bought appliances but should last considerably longer. Cheaper versions are not made-to-measure and are less comfortable to wear. They also tend to wear down and degrade quickly, changing shape and proving less effective.
A custom-made mouthguard should last a couple of years, but professional athletes may have new mouthguards made every season, or even at every 6-month check-up. Children and adolescents may need to have their mouthguards replaced more frequently as their mouths are still growing.
How Do I Care for My Mouthguard?
The mouthguard should be cleaned after every use. The dentist will recommend what you should use to clean it with, as some toothpaste may be too abrasive, scratching the surface of the mouthguard.
Placing it under cool, running water immediately after use, and storing your mouthguard in its protective case when dry will help to prevent bacteria from growing on the mouthguard until you can soak it in an antimicrobial solution once you get home. Likewise, cleaning the mouthguard with just soap and water is also another option.
You may also soak the mouthguard in a mouth rinse. While this will give your mouthguard a fresh taste, be careful because some rinses may cause staining. Denture cleaning tablets are another effective way to sanitize your mouthguard and remove stains - and some tablets are made specifically for mouthguards.
Thomas Family Dentistry offers the right solutions for your sports guard. Call us on 971-348-4244 to schedule an appointment.